A Tampa Adventure - Oxford Exchange, The Cider Press Cafe & Gourmet Popsicles

Helloooo Friday! This week Adam and I took a day trip to Tampa to lets face it...basically eat our way around the city. I think we can one hundred percent say we ate the best we ever have. Starting off with the insanely unique Oxford Exchange, a huge lunch at The Cider Press Cafe, and finishing off with two locations for two, yes two, desserts. Lets go! 

Oxford Exchange

Our favorite destination whenever we come to Tampa is the Oxford Exchange. It has beautiful architecture, a coffee bar, a tea bar, a gorgeous restaurant filled with lots of local and veggie options, very unique shops, and seating up and downstairs to enjoy the delightful sipping! I dare you to not fall in love with this place. 

It's in a location perfect for exploring the downtown vibes, the friendly people, and endless photo opportunities! 

 

 

 

The Cider Press Cafe

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This place holds a very special place in my heart! I used to work at the first location in Naples, Florida for about a year until they sadly had to close down the location. They are now located in St. Pete, Florida on a great corner street in the downtown area. Its feel is very artistic with art pieces from the local artists in the area! They used to specialize is specifically raw vegan food, but now have branched out to amazing cooked foods as well! 

One of my favorite things about this place is their unique drink selection. They have a local kombucha brand on tap, Mother Kombucha. This is by far my favorite kombucha brand I've ever tried. For starters we had the raw vegan buffalo bites served with their raw ranch sauce. They are now using the Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat and let me just say its to die for. We both got the ultimate burger with toppings of raw mayo, organic ketchup and mustard, red onion rings, and pickles. I got my burger on a gluten free bun with a side of raw coleslaw and he got a side of the vegan potato salad. YUM. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

The Hyppo 

We found this gourmet popsicle shop a couple doors down from the cafe and we had to go in for a little dessert. I have never seen so many different flavors. We ended up choosing the champagne mango and the banana coconut! So good and the art on the walls here are so cool! 

The Locale Market

This is another favorite of ours and we just had to come back again. This market is kind of like a whole foods set up except it is way more classy and the food options are SO different and delicious. It is a grocery store, but inside are about 4 different cafes from sushi burritos, to a full on vegan counter, to burgers, and beer. You name it. We had to stop and get this raw brownie sundae we found. We stumbled upon samples and uhh yes. Amazing. 

I hope next time you find yourself in Tampa you check out some of these awesome locations! 

Easy Lentil Soup - Vegan, Gluten Free, & Oil Free

Lentil soup is by far my favorite soup ever. I typically stick to two brands when I get lentil soup from the grocery store. Either Amy's canned soups or Whole Foods brand when they have it out on the food line that day. Both are super delicious, but can be very pricey. That's why today I am sharing with you a equally (if not MORE delicious) recipe that will cut the price WAY down for you. It also serves up to six servings! 

What You'll Need:

1 cup finely chopped (organic) celery

1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped carrots

3 cups lentils 

32oz organic vegetable broth

1 small can of organic diced tomato 

1 tsp pink sea salt 

1 Tbs Black Pepper

1 Tbs Onion Powder

1 Tbs Cumin  

1/2 to 1 tsp fresh minced garlic

1 tsp smoked paprika 


 

Start off by prepping...

Chop the organic carrots and celery (I get my organic produce from Trader Joe's)

Boil about three cups of lentils with 4 cups of water. Reduce to a low simmer and set a timer for about 20 minutes or until tender! 

Feel free to sprinkle about a teaspoon of pink sea salt in for flavor! 

Add in one 32oz organic vegetable broth into a pot of medium heat. 

Then add in one small can of organic diced tomatoes. 

Add in your cooked lentils, chopped vegetables, and now were ready to add the spices.

Let it simmer on medium heat for about one hour or until vegetables are tender and delicious

E N J O Y and share with friends and family! 

Natural Period Relief - Cramps, Mood, & Endometriosis

Happy Tuesday Friends! Today I am coming to you with a very important subject and one a lot of us don't necessarily love to talk about. That is OUR PERIODS! Woohoo. Fun right? Many of us have to deal with the extreme pain that comes with it, cramps. Others have to deal with symptoms of endometriosis which effects many women around the world today.

I, myself, get terrible back pain, awful cramps, nausea, and even weakness my first and sometimes second day. I have had to call out many many many days of work because I couldn't even manage to get out of bed without wanting to fall over in sever pain. It's terrible. I am also not one to keep on reaching for the bottle of Tylenol and forget about the side effects it has on my body. I want the best for my body and with that I have today my tips on "surviving" those days of dreadful womanhood. 

1. Peppermint Essential Oil

This is my favorite way to relieve cramps. I keep a bottle of peppermint essential oil everywhere I go. In my purse, by my beside, and even going in my diffuser all night long while I sleep. I love it's many benefits especially when dealing with cramps. It's minty sensation acts as natures "Icy Hot". 

How To Use:

Dilute with an oil base (coconut oil, jojoba, etc.) 

I don't dilute it with any oil because I like to keep it super strong dealing with the cramps I get. Do what works for you. I've used many brands and non of them have burned my sensitive skin. 

Use 5-7 drops on the affected area. Rub in. Breathe deep. Keep Calm. 

2. Turmeric Root

Natures pain relief! God bless it. Turmeric is very anti inflammatory leading to less pain in the body. You can get turmeric in all forms including by supplementing, this is the brand I am currently using! You can also get it through your food. Adding it to many delicious and healthy dishes. Buying the organic turmeric spice may be the best choice for many people especially women, because of the concentration of curcumin in the turmeric. Other ways are using it in forms of tea. Soaking the raw organic root in hot water or buying the tea in most health food stores. 

3. Plant Based Diet

A whole food plant based diet is a diet rich in anti inflammatory foods that grow from this earth that benefit your body in many ways. It's a diet full of minimally processed foods. Adding in lots of leafy greens, hydrating fruits and vegetables, and whole grains will benefit your body by regulating your hormones to get your body aligned and ready for your menstrual cycle. A diet less in unhealthy saturated fats found in animal products can tremendously help your bodies overall health, especially when dealing with cramps.

Switch out your unhealthy fats for healthy ones like avocados, nuts, seeds, coconuts, and more! 

I have had the most success with switching over to a whole foods diet! My pain has tremendously gone down when dealing with cramps. 

4. Don't get tense!

This is one I have been working on for the last couple of months. To not let my body tense up and hold in more pain. A lot of the pain is in our minds. When we chose to let go and breathe deeply our pain will go down immensely. Try it! Its something to keep working on and keep improving! 

5. Heat!

This last one seems kind of obvious, but it's to invest in a good heating pad. For me I get really bad back pain. So not only do I directly use the peppermint oil to help reduce pain, but I use a giant heating pad to wrap around my stomach and my back to reach both sides. It's a great purchase! Thanks babe for running out and getting it for me when I was hurdled over in pain. ;)


I hope you gained a little insight on a few of my favorite ways to relieve period symptoms naturally! If any of you have any tips as well, leave them in the comment section below! Have an amazing and beautiful day! 

 

 

An Orlando Adventure - Places to go, Things to do & Eat

 
 
 
 

Hello everyone! Hope you're having a lovely week so far. I know mine is flying by so fast. I thought i'd come to you today with a post all about my trip to Orlando, Florida this past weekend. We celebrated my boyfriend Adam's 22 birthday in Orlando as a tradition for the third year in a row. We had an absolute blast so I thought I would take you along and show you the fun things we did to inspire you on a possible trip to Orlando yourself! 

LETS GO! 

#1 Disney Springs is a must

Now I know this might sound like such a typical thing to do, however they remodeled what used to be known as Downtown Disney and made it into an even more fun place to hang out. We went to dinner at the new and improved Planet Hollywood and had a total blast! Great music, awesome service, a fun menu, and atmosphere. A definite recommendation for the whole family!

#2 Erin Mckenna's Bakery 

My TOP reason I come to Disney Springs is this bakery. An all gluten free and vegan bakery with decadent donuts, cupcakes, tea cakes, milkshakes, soft serve ice cream, and more! I may or may not have ordered and ate all 6 donuts, 1 cupcake, and 1 delicious teacake in a 24 hour period. #SorryNotSorry 

#3 K1 Speed 

We went with a group of our closet friends on this trip and all of the guys wanted to go to this indoor go karting place! It. Was. Awesome. Now, I wasn't interested in actually getting behind the wheel but us girlfriends did love screaming for the guys. These go karts went about 45mph on two separate tracks. They had a blast competing with each other. An awesome way to start the day! Who needs coffee...

#4 Mead's Botanical Gardens

An incredible moment happened on this weekend and it's one we will never forget! Two of our best friends got engaged at the Mead's Botanical Gardens. Gorgeous landscape of not so perfectly put together gardens. It's rustic and historic feeling with beautiful colors and creativity. We loved walking through the woods and gardens finding are way through. A great experience. I'm sure these two won't complain either! Congrats to the soon to be Mr. and Mrs! 

#5 City Walk

Specifically going to the delicious and entertaining Antojitos for dinner! It's a huge Mexican restaurant with such great food, drinks, and a super fun mariachi band that plays! We even got them to wish Adam a happy birthday and Alli and Jacob a congrats on their engagement. A must go! 

 

 

5 Tips For Self Love + Things to incorporate into your weekly routine

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! A lot of people dread this day because they find it a "corporate holiday" which may be the case! However, in my eyes it's another beautiful day to celebrate love together. Today, i'll be sharing some of my ways I like to incorporate self love into my weekly life. 

Because self love is one of the most important kinds of love.

#1 Writing down your thoughts

This is so important and one of my favorite ways to eliminate stress and moving forward to have a great day. I have many notebooks I like to use for different things and I keep a special one aside to write all of my prayers in. I write down my worries, my concerns, my hopes, things I'm thankful for, all of it. Talking to God is the most important part of my day and I'm always working harder at becoming more diligent with my prayer life. God answers prayers! 

#2 A healthy breakfast 

Not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day, but it's also my favorite! I like sticking to a plant based diet so I'm always trying to come up with more delicious and healthy meals for the morning time! This week I'm making parfaits and they're so good and super simple.

Pick your favorite dairy free yogurt (I love Kite Hill and Silk)

Top with your favorite fresh fruit! (Blueberries and strawberries are my favorite)

Then pick a healthy granola! (Engine 2 products are awesome)

Enjoy!

#3   Pamper yourself on a budget

There are many wallet friendly ways to pamper yourself for a little self loving. I love using my Mineral Fusion nail polish's and painting my nails without damaging them with all of those harsh nail polish chemicals and fumes! Also using coconut oil to help nourish my cuticles. Another way is to smash up some organic avocado and make a little face mask out of it (and possibly make some delicious guacamole out of the rest). So many amazing skin loving nutrients not only when you eat avocado, but using it topically as well! 

#4 Treat yourself 

One way I absolutely love treating myself is, is with a new tea. I love my teas! A couple of my new favorites recently have been Yogi Green Tea Kombucha Decaf  and organic rose tea. Both are very uplifting and relaxing. If you're not a big tea drinker, pick up something else you know you'll enjoy. Maybe a new snack to try or a cozy pair of pajamas. Something simple that'll make you smile. 

#5 A good night sleep

Make sure you clean your sheets, pillow cases, and blankets every single week. If not every week, make it every other week. Fresh blankets help to comfort you and keep you feeling nice and clean and refreshed in the morning. Also, anyone else a night time TV watcher? If so, try watching a familiar show. That way your brain finds comfort in the familiarity. I find that if I watch a new TV show I'm on high alert waiting to know what happens next. When I watch something familiar like Friends on Netflix, I can relax and just enjoy in a peaceful manor. 

Anymore tips you like to use for some self loving? Comment below and let us know! This is a friendly community and I'm always down to learn more ways to incorporate new habits into my life!